Manchester’s Miserable Day, City Lose, United Draw

Posted: December 5, 2015 in Football, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , ,

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Manchester City lost at Stoke in a game where it appeared that they just didn’t fancy it! Cold and windy are conditions that used to favour Stoke in the long ball days of Tony Pulis. Today those conditions weren’t a leveller, as Stoke like to play a passing game and have some skilful players in the team, so the weather affected both teams.

Stoke adapted to it much better than City and were two up by half time, both goals coming from Arnautovic who ended the match with everyone feeling that he should have scored four. Stoke seemed to stroll through City’s excuse for a defence whenever they felt like it.

City were abject in every department. So much so that, by the 65th minute Pellegrini had used all three substitutes. Delph, Iheanacho and Navas coming on for Fernandinho, Bony and Silva. I actually thought that Fernandinho had been OK and was surprised that it wasn’t Fernando who was taken off. He did go off with what looked like a hamstring injury only five or so minutes later.

So City changed to a 4-4-2 and it made absolutely no difference. Stoke had the luxury of being able to take off their two most effective playmakers, Shaqiri and Bojan, and comfortably see out the remainder of the game.

The win moves Stoke up into the top half of the table and Manchester City down to third. City must prepare themselves to face Borussia Moenchangladbach on Tuesday knowing that, if they win and Juventus slip up, they will top the group. So it is a game they have to take seriously.

Manchester United were at home to West Ham but it was the visitors who shaded the first half. United pushed forward occasionally but never looked like scoring whereas Wets Ham hit the post twice. Both teams had to make first half substitutions when Moses went off with what looked like a tight hamstring and Schneiderlin also left the field, strangely, just two minutes before half time.

The second half was marginally better than the first although, despite a reasonable amount of attacks, United still went sideways and backwards far too often. They may keep possession going in these directions but they are unlikely to ever score a goal.

West Ham, of course, were quite happy to sit back and hit United on the break and, with United failing to score, they never had to come out looking for a goal.

So a better overall performance but, until they can create some clear cut chances and until they have a world class goalscorer United will struggle to find the net. Today’s statistic proves it, twenty shots at goal with one on target.

The draw does little for either club in the way of movement up or down the table. Manchester United must now prepare themselves for the trip to Germany and their must-win game against Wolfsburg on Tuesday. The very simple fact is that if they lose that game then they are out of the Champions League for this season.

In summing up I would say that United are short of a couple of players to make a serious assault on the title. They certainly need a world class goal getter, as I said earlier, and a pacy wide man. At present it seems as though they could get Edinson Cavani in January, so he may be worth a consideration for van Gaal. For the pace I would look at Mahrez of Leicester City, who scored three goals today.

City, like United, could do with less injuries as they don’t seem to cope well when the likes of Kompany, Toure and Aguero are out. They look very average at times, which is quite remarkable considering the size and quality of their squad.

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